Listless markets wait for earnings reports to arrive
Wall Street capped a mostly listless day of trading Monday with an uneven finish for U.S. stock indexes.
Gains by technology and materials stocks were mostly outweighed by losses among real estate companies, banks and other sectors. Macy’s and other big retailers also took hefty losses.
Energy companies rose as the price of crude oil rebounded from an early slide.
Investors were making moves ahead of the next corporate earnings reporting season, which ramps up this week. Technology stocks were a favorite, with traders expecting the sector companies to post solid results, said Anastasia Amoroso, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
“There’s definitely a pivot going on to earnings from some of the trading last week,” Amoroso said, adding that “investors are looking for some of the higher-growth opportunities, and tech definitely stands out.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,427.43. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 5.82 points, or 0.03 percent, to 21,408.52. The Nasdaq composite rose 23.31 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,176.39. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 7.36 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,408.47.
About as many stocks rose as fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
Traders also were looking ahead to potential news out of the Federal Reserve later this week. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is due to address Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.
The S&P 500’s technology sector, which went through a sell-off a few weeks ago, notched the biggest gain Monday. Chipmaker Nvidia led the group, climbing $6.94, or 4.7 percent, to $153.70.
Big department stores slumped, led by Macy’s. The company was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sliding $1.60, or 7.1 percent, to $21.08.
Teen fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch sank 21.1 percent after the struggling chain said over the weekend that it is no longer up for sale.
Energy futures notched gains. Benchmark U.S. crude added 17 cents to settle at $44.40 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, also rose 17 cents to close at $46.88 a barrel in London.